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Routes in (d) Northwest Recess

Consolation Direct, The T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Consolation, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Constellation T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Edgehogs T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Error, The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Farewell Horizontal T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Gulp, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Incision, The T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Long Climb, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Magical Mystery Tour T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Sahara Terror T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Snakes on Everything T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Souvenir, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Special K T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Swallow, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Whodunit T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Wong Climb T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, 800 ft, 7 pitches
FA: P1 & 2: Bob Gaines and Clark Jacobs, 8/92. P3 & 4: Bob Gaines, Todd Gordon & Bob Austin, 7/97, Complete route: Bob Gaines & Charlie Peterson, 8/98
Page Views: 5,683 total · 39/month
Shared By: Murf on Feb 24, 2006
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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P1: (5.10A) - Follow the corner left of Whodunit to a short crack with a pin and a bolt. Continue to bolted belay.

P2: (5.11-) - Move up and clip a bolt. Make a very tricky move (5.10+) to the right and up for the next bolt. The pin in the 2001 guide is missing, a small cam will fit. Continue up through 5 more bolts with a 5.11 move (never truly on the arete ). Move right toward the arete for another cruxy section over the roof to a 2 bolt belay in an alcove.

P3: (5.10) - Tricky 5.10 moves on a rounded arete past three bolts to another 2 bolt belay.

P4: (5.10-) - Up from the belay for a pin and/or a bolt. Touch Whodunit for a move or two while searching for the best move left onto the higher face. After the move left, you can either clip a bolt and loop left then back right(farther than seems prudent). The better way to is unlock the upward moves almost directly above the bolt. Continue through a corner to another two bolt belay.

P5/P6: I have never climbed P5 or P6. From the P4 belay, the moves up some roofs/cracks seem improbable. I have always continued onto Magical Mystery Tour, even when I knew I wasn't on route.

P7 (5.10): At the base of the upper headway,stem into a large corner. Clip a pin on the left and work your way to the left lip. The bolt is a bit farther left than one may think (I had already put some gear in when I discovered it at my waist). Jam through the roof high stepping left.


A few bolts and maybe some gear on pitch 1. Eight bolts, the pin marked in the guidebook is missing and can be supplemented with a small cam on pitch 2. Pitch 3 is fully bolted and has the last rap station (2 ropes).


In whole this route is just so-so. After P4 it's pretty contrived and boring except for the 5.10 roof at the end. My advice is hop on Whodunit after P4 and then at the end jump left to do the cool juggy roof.

Details on pitches:
P1: Start as Whodunit but go farther left, through crack (piton) to a bolt with a homemade aluminum hanger, straight up to bolted belay, 10a.

P2: Money pitch. Start by laybacking the arete, then reach around the corner and onto Whodunit for a few feet, enjoy sweet slab all the way to another bolted anchor.

P3: Short pitch, three bolts to another bolted anchor.

P4: Some cool moves over a roof.

P5-6: Stay more right than you think, along the arete, sometimes utilizing Whodunit, one good move pulling over a roof to a bolt, belay under 10+ roof.

P7: Cool moves to surmount roof, don't miss the bolt just under the lip. Scramble to top. May 23, 2016
Nelson Day
Joshua Tree, CA
Nelson Day   Joshua Tree, CA
P4 on this was an intense lead. The pro in the last 50 feet to the anchors is bad and extremely fiddly. A heads up pitch for sure. The rock is somewhat dirty, slippery and exfoliating, which adds to your concerns (probably due to the fact that this route turns into a water fall when it rains - I witnessed this first hand). I destinctly remembering wanting to shit my pants near the top of the 4th pitch when I was 40 feet above good gear and looking at another hard(er) series of movements to easier terrain (arete slapping/laybacking, smearing on lichen covered rock). I had some questionable gear that might have held closer to me, but it wasn't great. The best pitch is pitch 2 for sure. A brilliant pitch. I would recommend doing the first three pitches. The fourth isn't that great and very mental. Contrary to the description by the OP, all the anchors on the first 4 pitches are bolted with rap rings, and you can rap down with 2 ropes. If I had brought my DMM offset nuts, the 4th pitch may have been much more casual... I looked at the topo after getting down and there is supposed to be a piton up there, but I didn't find it. Aug 26, 2013
Adam Kimmerly
Adam Kimmerly  
A great route! Pitch 2 has some incredibly sustained climbing with constantly cruxy climbing. The rock is clean, but not buffed to a porcelain polish. Protection is definitely adequate, but not overabundant. The pin on P2 is gone - bring small nuts or cams to protect that section.

So hard to pin a rating on this one, but I'll try. Here's our pitch breakdown.

P1: 5.10a. The topo in the guidebook has a minor error - the bolt (home-made angle steel hanger) appears before the pin. Small cams and some nuts can supplement those two.

P2: 5.10c. The money pitch. Long, sustained, and full of well protected cruxes. The move off the belay isn't that bad once you figure out the beta. The technical crux arrives about 2/3 of the way up when you wander slightly left away from the arete, smearing up the mildly featured slab. The pin after the second bolt it missing, but a small nut or small-med cam can help protect that section.

P3: 5.10d. Short, but scrappy! I thought the moves past the 3rd bolt were harder than any moves on the second pitch. A piece or two of small nuts/cams might add to your comfort on this one.

P4: 5.10b. One crux appears passing the roof and the second slapping up the arete a good distance above the last bolt (Scotty commented that this is off-route, but I disagree). A few carefully placed small nuts and cams again protect the upper crux on this one.\

P5: 5.9. A fist crack up off of the belay wanders up easier cracks (I may have gone too far left at this point and was likely off-route) to an awkward roof section, then a thin crack in a left-facing corner to a belay about 30' below a big overhang in a left-facing corner. Thin to med gear for this pitch. No bolts or pins were seen.

P6: 5.10a. Scramble up to the overhang and pass it via some funky stemming/bridging, then climb up, then right on runout slabs to join Whodunit at the tree below the 5.2 roof.

P7: 5.2 Scramble to the top. Jul 19, 2009
Scotty Nelson
Scotty Nelson   Boulder
Be sure to move left onto the face at the end of pitch 2. I took several falls trying to climb directly up the arete.

Also, I cut my rope when I slipped off pitch 4. I was tryign to climb up the arete (off route again -- you move left) when I slipped off. The rope scoured along the edge of the very sharp arete and it was cut almost halfway through. Very scary. I retied in below the cut and finished the pitch, quite shaken. May 11, 2006
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Wander up to a bolt anchor for pitch 1. I cheated and rapped off from the top of pitch 2 so I'll only describe my impressions of that...I have 5.11b scrawled in the margins of my dog-eared guide. There was a very tricky bit for me at the beginning of the second pitch, which felt quite hard. I failed to clip a bolt (got distracted by someone telling me I was off route, they thought I was on MMT) just before heading left up wavy/undulating rock - this gave me increasingly scary moments before getting to the next bolt - luckily I didn't fall. I brought Tony up and when he got to my missed clip I said to him "you'd think someone would have put a bolt right there" - he replied with "there is one". Mar 4, 2006